Sylvia Mae (Sylvester) GundersonMarch 3, 1934 ~ September 17, 2017 (age 83)
Sylvia Gunderson, age 83, of Glenwood, MN, died peacefully Sunday, September 17, 2017, surrounded by her family, at St. Cloud Hospital. Funeral services will be 10:30 A.M. on Friday, September 22, at Glenwood Lutheran Church with Rev. Krista Lee officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Glenwood Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Sylvia Mae Sylvester Bergeson Gunderson, the daughter of Leo and Myrtle (Solvie) Sylvester was born in Glenwood, MN, on March 3, 1934. She was baptized and confirmed at Glenwood Lutheran. She attended school in Glenwood, along with fellow classmate Glenn Gunderson. Sylvia graduated from Glenwood High School in 1952, valedictorian of her class. She furthered her education at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where her sister Lois was also attending. In 1956, she graduated with high honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and a minor in political science. Her first job was in Heron Lake, MN as a second grade elementary education teacher. She also taught in Nisswa, MN, and substituted in Brainerd and Sauk Rapids, MN. It was in Sauk Rapids that she had her own music studio where she taught piano and voice in her home for 23 years.
On June 6, 1956, Sylvia was united in marriage to Norman Bergeson at Glenwood Lutheran, where Norman was an intern. By 1962, they had four children—Norma, John, Peter and Sara. The couple later divorced.
On August 25, 1968, Sylvia was united in marriage to Glenn Arnold Gunderson at Bethlehem Lutheran in Brainerd. They had re-connected at their 15 year class reunion. The family settled in Sauk Rapids, where David was born in 1970, completing the family. Sylvia and Glenn continued to live in the area until 1998, when they retired to the Gunderson farm on Pelican Lake in Glenwood.
Sylvia was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran in St. Cloud for 30 years until she and Glenn moved back to Glenwood and became members of Glenwood Lutheran. She was active in the church choir, ELCA Women, Pope County Men’s Chorus accompanist, Solorlag of America, Minnesota Music Teachers Association, Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and numerous local, national and international organizations that supported people in need, peace and goodwill in the world.
She enjoyed music, writing, baking, sewing, the Benton County Fair, the Minnesota State Fair, class reunions, politics, the Great American Think Off, performing for many years in the Minnesota Center Chorale, singing at weddings and funerals, and watching baseball and football. In 1976, Sylvia represented MN as an alto in the Bicentennial Choir that sang in Interlochen, Michigan. Sylvia especially cherished her family. She was the family planner for reunions and get togethers. She loved attending her children’s and grandchildren’s concerts and athletic events.
She is survived by daughters Norma Bergeson of Sauk Rapids and Sara (Michael) Wilson of Surprise, AZ; sons John (Janet) Bergeson of St. Cloud, Peter Bergeson of Sauk Rapids, and David (Jessica) Gunderson of Sauk Rapids; grandchildren Lindsay Cajune-Duffy, William Wilson, Stephen Wilson, James Wilson, Siri Bergeson, Courtney Mae Bergeson, Emma Gunderson, Gustav Gunderson and Soren Gunderson; great-grandchildren Ava Cajune, Iris O’Donnell, Brooke Wilson and Madeline Duffy; her brother Howard (Terry) Sylvester of Sauk Rapids; and many friends and relatives.
Sylvia is preceded in death by her husband and loving companion for over 48 years, Glenn; her parents and her sister Lois Massee.
Memorials are preferred to the Glenwood Lutheran renovation fund.